Progress through my baking to-do list progress has been slow. So I decided to open with a humdinger…cinnamon buns from the Hummingbird Bakery ‘Home Sweet Home’ recipe book. I don’t have the book; partly because I worry about the strength of the recipe book shelf under the hefty weight of hardbacks, but also because unmade recipes in books make me sad. I just can’t face the burden of more uncooked dishes or unbaked cakes. Unless it’s a new Nigella book, in which case that’s like adding a new member to the family.
Back to the buns…they’re not tricky to make, but they do require a few processes, so you do have to read the method and make it fit in with your day. It’s a basic bread dough, which I don’t usually bother with, but the thought of squidgy American-style golden cinnamon goodness is enough to make me make the effort. Dough made, I took a little T out for a walk for an hour. The recipe only asks for a 30 minute prove but it wasn’t all that warm in the kitchen so I figured the extra half hour won’t hurt. Back at the ranch, and another kneading session – quite therapeutic actually – and I accidentally blew up the butter when softening it in the microwave. A quick clean up later, I decide in my wisdom to use the melted butter and a pastry brush instead of spreading soft butter over the now-rectangular rolled dough. Not my best idea…it’s messy, dribbly and makes little puddles of butter in places, but I persist. Between the soft brown sugar, cinnamon and butter, the kitchen smells pretty darn homely. Roll it up like a swiss-roll and my genius move with the melted butter means I make another mess when I slice it but when it comes to buns, I’m no quitter.
So the slices get wodged into two round tins (it said one in the recipe but I made about 16 slices) with one spare which sits lonely on a baking sheet. Covered again, I go back to the messy microwave and preheat the oven and get the frosting on the go. Typical cream cheese frosting so no problem there – I think cleaning the butter out of the microwave took longer. A quick egg wash and it’s baking time!
The buns only took about 15 minutes, but, oh the smell. This is the point when you wish visitors to your door, but alas they come when you only have soft digestives and an old kitkat in the pantry. Out they come, a glorious golden, peeking up like chicks from a nest, they look so pretty – but not too pretty to eat. One tin gets packed up for a quick trip to the grandparents who are just back from sunnier climes, complete with a tupperware of frosting for on the go icing.
They are very good. And very bad, obviously. Eaten on the day, they pull apart like some kind of slo-mo baking moment and once you add the frosting it’s like upgrading them from a treat to a feast. Definitely an inspiration to bake more. And join a gym.